Big Top, Sydney NSW
April 27th 2018
Support: Eat Your Heart out & Stateside
Get ready to poke your eye out with eyeliner and yell at your parents that the just don’t get you; Simple Plan are in town and you guessed it we’ve got an anniversary tour. The 15th anniversary of No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls brought one of the most iconic bands of your emo phase to our shores and you bet the fans were here for it.
Opening the night, Brisbane based rockers Stateside got the crowd up and going. Now I’ve seen these guys play a few times now and I’ve always said they’d translate incredibly well in a large venue and I was right on the money. The stage presence of these guys is insane, every member jumping around and confidently owning the crowd like they’d done it a thousand times before. Erin Reus blows everyone away with her stellar vocal performance and even those who hadn’t checked the band out before are dancing along to the certified banger that is “This Is War”. It’s always a treat when Stateside travel down south and its clear with the effort they put in to every performance that they definitely will be a band to watch in the future.
After a brief intermission comprised of a playlist your 14 year old self probably had on their phone, we were met with the Newcastle talent that is Eat Your Heart Out, ie the most criminally under-rated band in the scene right now. Coming out swinging with a set list combining the best of their discography both pre and post-signing with Fearless Records; the band win over the crowd with easy. From their classic pop-punk vibe to the energetic front-woman Caitlin Henrys dance moves, it’s hard not to fall in love with these guys. They secure this place in the crowds hearts by finishing off with personal favourite ‘Conscience‘ and even those who weren’t off their feet before are jumping up and down like a 6 year old on a sugar-high. I have a feeling this tour is a sign of good things to come for Eat Your Heart Out so definitely keep your eye on these guys.
Then came the main event.
Simple Plan were met with thousands of people letting their inner 14 year old scream at the top of their lungs as the band exploded into ‘I’d Do Anything’. Dancing across the stage like the energetic unit they are, the boys move into angsty classic, ‘The Worst Day Ever’, and the craziness begins.
It becomes clear that these guys are veteran showmen; As ‘You Don’t Mean Anything’ begins, front-man Pierre Bouvier has the crowd in the palm of his hands, balancing on the barrier and serenading the first row as the rest of the band stand on the platforms periodically pointing and smiling at phone cameras. They have the fan service down to a science and it’s rather impressive to watch. This continues through certified bangers ‘Im Just A Kid’ and ‘When I’m With You’.
‘Meet You There’ ignited as expected, as did the legendary and mildly infamous ‘Addicted’, with its infectious and tactically innuendo filled chorus. The angsty lyrics that could only be a product of early 2000’s pop punk, fill the room with nostalgic enthusiasm as ‘My Alien’ and ‘God Must Hate Me’ play. The latter being a particular highlight in terms of getting the crowd to dance along.
The iconic opening guitar riff of ‘I Won’t Be There’ along with the crowd screaming back every word made for a particularly memorable moment and somehow managed to make the room even sweat filled. This craziness continued through the final three songs off the first part of the set ‘One Day’, ‘Grow Up‘ and ‘Perfect’, finishing off with Pierre throwing his shirt into the crowd.
At this point I think everyone needed the small break before the seven song encore comprised of literally every other hit they’ve had. Starting off with ‘Shut up’, getting everyone standing for ‘Jump’, Throwing out balls during ‘Boom!’ followed by a joke about playing with Bouvier’s balls that was slightly inappropriate for an all age gig but incredibly on brand. We then had the pleasure of seeing the return of Stateside’s Erin Reus for a gorgeous performance of ‘Jet Lag’ that has everyone off the floor followed by the uplifting jam that is‘Summer Paradise’.
The crowd was then met with the dramatic ballad that is ‘Crazy’ and the obligatory appearance of the sea of flash lights (Honestly it’s never not going to be cool to see) and Pierre‘s adventure into the middle of the crowd riding a poor security guys shoulders.
Then it happened… as if the venue could any sweatier; the vibe transcends to a whole new level of insanity as the band finishes of the set with the iconic anthem to everyone’s emo phase ‘Welcome To My Life’. Everyone sang back every word with every last ounce of passion and energy they had in them. It honestly felt like such a wholesome end to a phenomenal night and definitely one for the scrapbooks.
Revisit our interview with Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan right here
Eat Your Heart Out